Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti moved today to fortify computer systems that run city-owned airports and the harbor -- as well as key city services -- against cyber-attacks.
A cyber-attack could also shut down or wreak havoc on traffic light systems, trash pick-up and other city services run on digital systems, according to Garcetti.
The attack could come in the form of viruses, hacking, privacy invasions and security breaches, he said.
"Cybersecurity means protecting the basic services at the core of city government, and it means protecting our critical infrastructure like our port and airport, which we know are top targets," said Garcetti, who was joined by FBI agents at a downtown news conference.
A Cyber Intrusion Command Center in the city of Los Angeles will bring together a "single, focused team responsible for implementing enhanced security standards across city departments and serving as a rapid reaction force to cyber-attacks," Garcetti said.
The cybersecurity team, which will work with the FBI and Secret Service, will be formed under Garcetti's second mayoral executive directive. His first directive earlier this month was to launch an effort to beautify and fix "Great Streets" around the city.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the directive "makes perfect sense," and called cyber-attacks the "new frontier in terrorism."
President Barack Obama in February introduced an executive order that identified cyber-attacks from other governments, crime organizations and individual hackers as the nation's worst threat to its security and economy.
Garcetti has charged the Command Center with identifying and looking into potential threats to city assets, delegating investigations to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, sending out alerts and information about cybersecurity, and coordinating response and remediation efforts.
Every city department will be involved with the Command Center, providing data, employees and resources, he said.
"As the city's CEO, I'm working to make sure we break down silos between city departments," Garcetti said. "This makes us more efficient, more cost-effective and in this context, more secure."
A working group formed by the mayor's office will return in 30 days to propose a structure for the security team.